Batman: The Long Halloween, Part Two (2021) – Chris Palmer

The second part of DC animation’s adaptation of the iconic graphic novel, The Long Halloween, is just as solid an entry in the DC animated universe as the other entries I’ve covered to date. And combining it with the first part makes it my favourite of the animated films to date.

Bruce Wayne (Jensen Ackles) has fallen under the spell of Poison Ivy (Katee Sackhoff) and has been signing over his assets until Catwoman (Naya Rivera) saves him, and allows him to realize that he’s lost three months, and that hasn’t stopped the killer known as Holiday from continuing his work.

As Bruce assumes his mantle of Batman again, Gotham City finds itself beleaguered by a number of the caped crusader’s rogues gallery. They seem intent on making a name for themselves in Gotham, are competing, violently for the reign of the city, and are willing to wrest it from the crime families that are, themselves, at war for Gotham.

As secrets are revealed about characters, their families and their histories, the story, written by Tim Sheridan from the original tale by Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale shakes up Batman, and the viewer, playing nicely with known characters and their backstories. I loved the reveals, the way the story is told, and the way it all plays out.

It’s a wonderfully noir tale, completely at home in the world of the World’s Greatest Detective. The animation style leans into that genre, and the fact that the story takes its time, spanning itself over two feature films, makes it all the more enjoyable. Character beats, and story beats, are all given room to breathe, and it’s a great ride.

As Batman continues his crime-fighting, he is troubled to learn that his friend, Harvey Dent (Josh Duhamel), may be ill, suffering, and may be the killer he’s looking for as the District Attorney’s alter-ego, Two-Face is brought to the fore by a courtroom assault.

As things escalate to an all-out assault on the Falcone penthouse, Gotham is being torn apart, and Batman, with Catwoman at his side, may be the only person who can stop it. But with all of his enemies teaming up, this may be more than even he can handle.

A fantastic story put together wonderfully and featuring some fantastic voice talent. Kevin Conroy may be my Batman, but Ackles proves he’s got the chops and can make the character his own.

There are a number more animated films to come, so let’s see what awaits us next week. But I’m not sure how they will be able to top The Long Halloween. It also makes me want to revisit the graphic novel, and as far as I’m concerned, that’s a very high compliment.


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